A Jewish boy's bar mitzvah marks his coming of age. Although there is a ritual associated with it - putting on tefillin and a tallis, and being called to the torah for the first time - no ritual is actually necessary for it to be effected. It simply happens on the anniversary in the Jewish calendar of his birth. The rituals however, are a reason for celebration and simcha for the parents.
Sunday, September 30, 2018
Sukkat is a festival of joy. After Rosh Hashanah - when we ask G-d to forgive our sins by inscribing us in the Book of Life, and after Yom Kippur - when the inscription is sealed, Sukkat is the celebration of G-d's forgiveness (we hope). Hashanah Rabbah is the final day of Sukkat when we receive the final dispensation for the coming year. We say special prayers while holding and waving the lulav and esrog, and we parade around the torah scrolls. There's two more days (in Israel the same day) to celebrate and eat festive meals - Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah - and then we settle back to normalcy for a while.